Scared of confession!

My youth group is putting on a retreat this weekend and I’m planning on going to Confession soon because my youth group leaders would like us all to go before the weekend.

Anyways, I’m kind of scared of going to Confession. Okay, more than kind of - I’m terrified. One of my sins is sexual in nature [not masturbation or pre-martial sex, but more of reading certain things] and even though it was a long time ago, feel like even more of a failure, as I’m a girl and sexual sins seem to be more associated with guys. I’m so ashamed of what I’ve done. I know I need to go to Confession, and when I think about it, I can muster up the courage to confess, but when the time for the actual Confession draws nearer, all my courage is gone.

Is this prideful? Could it be Satan attacking? And does anyone have any tips about Confession?

You could include impurity in your list of sins and if Father wants more information, he will ask. Chances are he won't ask any further questions. My experience anyways.

Scared of confession: you have absolutely nothing to fear. The priest who will hear your confession has probably heard just about every sin there is. And he is not there to judge you. He is there to forgive you and to counsel you so you can be stronger. Jesus will never reject someone who is truely sorry for their sins. Ever. Go with confidence and be totally honest with the priest. Omit nothing and then open your heart to Christ to recieve His forgiveness. I try to go at least once a month and I couldn't live without it. Blessings.

It's ok to be scared. I'm scared too when I go. Well, I don't know if its fear or just extreme nervousness. Anyways, my experience is that the priest is NEVER judgemental. They are there to absolve you, to forgive you in the name of Christ. Don't worry about the confessor...all the fear / nervousness is in your head.

Plus, once its over, it goes so fast, and you feel so much better! One trick I use is instead of thinking about how nervous I am, or how it could go badly, or whatever...I just think about what it will be like afterwards. Just think what it will feel like not only have the weight lifted of the nervousness of going to confession (cuz it will be over) but also the assuredness that you are completely forgiven of all your sins. It's marvelous! Just forcus on the after-feeling instead of the before feeling. :)

True courage is not being fearless...it is doing the right thing in spite of being afraid. You can do it. Be courageous! It's over before you know it.

When I have something embarrasing to confess I make sure I phrase it in a certain way and that I prepare. What I mean is, making a mental list of my sins and memorising the exact way I would say them to the priest really helps me. You don’t have to go into details, and as someone has already mentioned - the priest will ask you if he thinks it is important to clarify things.

Seriously, just go and get rid of that sin and you’ll feel so much better and free. Confession is a gift!:thumbsup:

I understand that you are scared; I was too. I had a lot of really bad sins to confess, and I was extremely ashamed.

Like others have said, the priest is not there to judge you or yell at you. I was expecting to be yelled at but that didn't happen of course.

The hardest part was actually forgiving myself after I had told the priest everything.

I did my first confession during a retreat as well, and the retreat leader told us to look at the picture on the wall inside the confessional as we enter. He said it would help us to put things in perspective.

It was a painting that showed Christ carrying his cross up the hill while a Roman soldier stood in the background. It was so powerful and moving. It helped me to remember that Jesus had already paid the price for my horrific sins.

You will do just fine! I'm so happy for you.

[quote="xbrighteyes, post:1, topic:194933"]
I know I need to go to Confession, and when I think about it, I can muster up the courage to confess, but when the time for the actual Confession draws nearer, all my courage is gone.

Is this prideful? Could it be Satan attacking? And does anyone have any tips about Confession?

[/quote]

When we just think of ourselves as we are, in our sinfulness, it can seem crushing, overwhelming. But, when we think of ourselves as we appear in the eyes of Christ, then the burden of our sin does not seem so impossible. It is He whom we speak to. If you have a good imagination, keep your inner bright eyes fixed on His bright eyes. Remember that He looks on us with love, joy and delight when we return to Him. You may find His encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well (St John, Chapter 4) consoling and moving. He is thirsty! You can pray with an icon of Jesus or with the Gospel before hand to recollect *how *He is looking for you.

I too "rehearse" my confessions. If I need to make an actual list, I do. And yes, if a certain sin is embarassing, find delicate ways to explain it. For example, for certain sexual acts you could say "We did sexual things that left no possibility for procreation". This was something I actually had to confess upon my return to the church after 20 years. You can write little notes on your list to help you get through it. My experience is that the confessionals are seldom pitch black the way they used to be so you'll be able to see your list - and there are also "reconciliation rooms" where you have the choice to stay behind the screen or face the priest. Pray to Mary for help - she never lets us down. She's your spiritual mother and will never fail you if you ask her help. Good luck!

When I turned 50 I confessed a sexual sin I did 25 years ago. The pain of carrying the guilt was not worth it. The Monsignor was elderly and so very kind, he helped me feel so much better about myself. I am sorry I waited so many years. God knows how you feel and His love is everlasting even when we fall. (Jesus fell and His Father still gave His love)

I am female and I've had to confess sexual sin, and it was embarrassing at first. At the time I contemplated whether being crucified would be less painful.

I wondered if the priest would think I was overly disordered because I was a female. I have also in confessions since just used the term, sexual sin. And the priest hasn't asked for further details. No priest I've had to confess sexual sin to has blinked or jumped back in shock or said anything negative. They don't. Priests want us to come to the sacrament of Confession. They want to help us loosen the rift that sin has caused between ourselves and God.

I am so glad I managed to find the courage to go to Confession that first few times, because the grace given to me has really helped my spiritual growth and becoming closer to God.

The first few times are the hardest, but it does get easier after that. And it feels like a big weight has been removed from our shouders. In my case I felt lighter and more free.

I'd be here all day if I had to explain the positive spiritual benefits I have encountered after attending the sacrament of reconciliation, but I am so glad I managed to do so those first few times, although they were hard, understand that a few moments of courage can go a long way to a new life.

The confessional is not the torture chamber, although in my case I initially viewed it as thus. The true torture chamber is that tomb that sin has kept us in. But satan likes for us to think that his tomb is the comfy one, and the confessional is the scary place. But it is satan who is the one who finds the confessional as the scary place, because once a person steps into the confessional, satan knows that he is losing bit by bit his grip on keeping us in his tomb of sin and spiritual darkness.

Walk to the light, God will grant you the courage if you seek it. Let Satan be the scared one.

don’t be afraid :slight_smile: it’s not true that sexual sins are more associated with guys… priests are used to hearing ALL kinds of things in Confession. I’ve had to confess some truly horrible shameful things and the priest didn’t even react in any way, he just absolved me. Don’t let fear keep you away from this Sacrament… it is really Jesus who is present there, though He’s hidden. Be honest and open and say all your sins to the priest, and Jesus will make your soul pure and clean again. :slight_smile: it’s really wonderful afterwards!!! I was SO afraid too, but when I went, I was so happy. So dont worry at all and even if you worry, just keep on thinkign that after the Confession, everything will be great. :slight_smile:

God bless

:thumbsup:

Pray. Pray. Pray. I used to be terrified of confession, and I still get nervous every time I go, but every time you walk out of that confessional is like the greatest feeling in the world and it definitely outweighs the nervousness beforehand. You will learn to see confession as a gift from God instead of a chore when we sin.

Actually, years ago, I posted the exact same kind of post on these forums about being terrified of confession (if I remember correctly.)

If you have trouble with sexual sin, try the Way of Purity Course on this website: www.settingcaptivesfree.com. There is a part at the very end about the relationship between husband and wife that may not completely be Catholic teaching, so be careful there, but overall I haven't noticed anything contradictory to teaching. The website can teach some very important Biblical truths that help with sins of that nature.

Note: it is important to get to confession as soon as possible after committing a mortal sin and we have to confess before we can receive communion after committing a mortal sin.

Do not be afraid. It's OK to be nervous, though.

I had a confession several years ago, where I had all kinds of "big things" - some of it sexual. The priest (who I knew well) never batted an eye and did not fall off of his chair in horror. It felt SO good to leave those things behind that had weighed me down for years.

Just say it. Start with the "worst first", then it's all downhill.

Good LOVES to forgive!

Let us know how it goes...

Praying for you.

There was an earlier post which mentioned Satan quite a bit. I’m glad to see this because I think we forget who is seeking the ruin of our souls. Satan would love to convince you that he does not exist - that’s a deadly trap and so easy to slip into. Just like God is real, so is the Devil and the force can be powerful. Don’t ever fail to recognize Satan when he’s tempting you. He won’t show up looking like a monster - of course not. He will be that tantalizing offer that doesn’t seem so bad - doesn’t seem harmful. Don’t buy into it! I told my priest in confession that I worry about all the other fallen away Catholics who haven’t yet come back. He told me not to worry about them and that God will take care of them. I was surprised he said not to worry, but now I understand. I have to keep my own house in order first or I can’t help anyone else. If I keep my own life on track, God may use me to inspire someone else to come back. I’m useless to God if I live a sinful life, but He would continue to work to get me back just like He’s working on everyone in His own way.

I totally understand what you’re saying about it being extra embarrassing to confess a sexual sin as a woman. I feel the same way. To me confession is like diving into a swimming pool. The first dive is kind of scary and you’re nervous, but after you take the first plunge, the more often and frequently you dive, the less scary it is. I would recommend approaching this confession as your first plunge and then keep going regularly so that it doesn’t become a scary thing. The priests have heard a lot of sins in their time. You won’t be the first woman coming in with a sexual sin. He won’t even react to it.

Remember the Words of John Paul II “BE NOT AFRAID!”

Jesus wants us to be reconciled with the Father. Never be afraid of the sacraments of the Church, for they help you grow in holiness, and piety. The Priest will not look at you wrong, I am sure he endured the same things you are. Remember in the Sacrament of penance, the Priest represents Jesus in the Trinity.

A devout Confession helps us to hear the inspirations of the Holy Spirit. It gives us added “spiritual muscle” and helps us to hear and follow the advice of our Guardian Angels. It rids us of mortal sin and gives us a greater desire to be free even of venial sin. It gives us a special preserving influence against the fires of passion.

Pope Paul VI described Confession as: “… a school of moral wisdom, … a training ground for spiritual energy…”

Pope Pius XII, St. Vincent de Paul, St. Philip Neri, Ven. Mary of Agreda and many others went to confession every day.

St. Francis of Rome went three times a day.

These people knew how true it is that: “Confession is good for the soul.”

  1. Sexual sins are not more associated with guys.
  2. You are not going to tell the priest anything he hasn't heard before, probably that same day, and probably hundreds of times before. I guarantee it. The priest will not judge you. He will drill not you for details. He may offer advice but most likely he will just forgive you.
  3. The devil doesn't want you to go to Confession. He will do anything he can to keep you from it. Don't let him succeed.

  4. It's not just you and the priest in that confessional. Jesus himself is there. He already knows what you've done and He is waiting there to forgive you.

Don’t be afraid, that’s Jesus in the person of your priest there. He’s just waiting to forgive you of your sins!

Don’t worry the priest doesn’t bite :slight_smile:

Priest have also pretty much heard it all. Like others have said once you dive in, you’ll learn what a wonderful healing experience sacramental confession is. You’ll learn to hunger for it when you need it.

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